Report from the International Council for Lay Dominican Fraternities 2004

After conferring with Lay Dominicans this Council was formed in May 2002. It consists of 5 members representing 5 regions: (Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America). and the General Promoter for the Laity,

The mission statement: The ICLDF is an international network for promoting greater communication between Lay Dominican Fraternities in order to achieve a more effective preaching of the Gospel.
At its official inauguration the Master of the Order, Fr. Carlos Aspiroz, confirmed the membership of this Council. Three of these members were elected and two appointed.



1. I began as the friars’ first Promoter General of the Dominican Laity in September, 1999, in response to the General Chapter of Bologna, 1998.

2. The initial stage primarily involved establfshing the new promoter’s office at Santa Sabina (orientation, job description, goals, budget, fundraising, and files), and more importantly, beginning to meet the many lay Dominican entities in the world.

3. According to the Bologna Chapter, Acts No. 171, it was recommended that this Promoter General would preferably be a lay person, and would do the following tasks:


At the last European Assembly in Slovakia in 2008 it was proposed that the European Dominican laity make use of modern technology by launching a lay preaching website to publish stories of fruitful use of our opportunities to preach the Good News by word, gesture and example. The Assembly appointed a team of four – three lay Dominicans and the Promoter General – to manage this new initiative. The lay members were chosen not least because they are all in one way or another professionals with words: they are a couple from Brussels, Guido Van Damme, who is a journalist; Bénédicte Van Damme, his wife, who is a translator; and me, Ruth Anne Henderson, a Scot living in Italy, an academic in the field of English language studies.  It is useful too that we are each fluent in at least two languages and competent in at least one more.

State of the Laity within the Dominican Family today – 2009

(concise summary)


Increasing awareness of the apostolic aspect of vocation:

The friars discern that the laity are not only the object of their preaching, but they are considered more and more as companions in preaching, especially in places where the friars are not so skilled: in family life, the neighborhood, in the professions, in society, the economy and politics. The laity, too, discern more and more that they are protagonists of preaching in their typical environment, where they are specialists. There is an increasing esteem and mutual respect. In the spirit of the Church, understood as Mystery of Communion, the secular branch is respected no longer like a “third Order” of Dominicans, but as  integrated members of a religious family, called by the development of their own charism to respond to the same universal vocation.